Sitting at yet another dinner work event, Aida was casually stirring her soup as she stared out at the nice scenery out in the bay, listening to her coworkers drone on. The conversations with coworkers were always so boring. They would drone on and on about different Netflix shows they've watched, their children and other pop culture references.
Aida's interests were very different. She loved watching anime, reading light novels, playing games -- they were her solace in this monotonous world. Since as long as she could remember in her 25 years of living, whenever anything bad happened, she would immerse herself into the world of magic, fighting and romance, and everything would be better. That was her happy place. A place that no one could disturb.
As Aida was counting down till the time she could leave, her closest coworker, Macy, turned to her and asked, "Hey, if an apocalypse were to happen and you were allowed to bring 5 things with you to a bunker that has food and water prepared, what would you bring?"
Aida's eyes lit up immediately, all the boredom gone from her eyes. THIS was a topic she could relate to. For the past 6 months, all she read were apocalyptic themed light novels.
Aida opened her mouth to respond, but before she could, one of her other coworkers cut in while twirling her hair, "I would bring a bar of soap and hand sanitizer, because how else would we stay clean? It'd be so gross otherwise."
The whole dinner table went silent, yet again dumbstruck by the low IQ of this teammate and wondering who let her on the team. Aida internally rolled her eyes thinking "Well you would make good cannon fodder I suppose." Macy, being the great mediator she is, chuckled awkwardly and responded gently, "I don't think cleanliness would be the priority in this situation. Maybe you want to think about how to protect yourself?"
Another coworker, Mark, chimed in and responded with a slightly more intelligent response, "Hm.. I would want a water filtration system since water will be needed for my survival. My plan is to just live in the bunker forever. Honestly, I already have one prepared."
At this point, Aida chuckled and joined in on the conversation. "Would you really want to subject yourself to living in a bunker on your own for the rest of your life? It would surely be a meaningless life and you will likely go insane there even if you could live off of the supplies in there."
"Well what would you do if you were in that situation?" he countered.
"I would obviously go outside and explore, with a radio communication system being one of the 5 items on hand. What is the meaning of living if it's going to be done trapped in a jail? I would go out there and live, or die trying. If I found out I was the last one living or that I would be stuck in a bunker for the rest of my life, I would rather just kill myself and get it over with." responded Aida in a calm sounding voice.
The entire table went silent for the second time of the night. Macy stared at Aida as if it were the first time seeing her, and responded, "Well Ai, I am seeing you in a completely different light. Didn't know you had it in you."
Aida shrugged and continued drinking her soup. Mark was still disgruntled about Aida's response and demanded to know the rest of her items, disbelieving that she would actually survive. "I think one of the items you'll need among the 5 will be a man, females can't survive in an apocalypse on their own. What else are you bringing?"
Calmly placing her spoon down on the table, Aida looked straight into Mark's eyes with a steely glint and responded evenly, "I would bring a radio, seeds, a battery that can be recharged by nature, a server, and a weapon. As for a man, it's not in my top 5 and even if there were one, I would be the one protecting them."
At this point, Mark realized that he was being inappropriate yet refused to back off. He challenged, "Well why would you waste a space on a server? That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard. You can't bring a whole server rack into your bunker and tell me you still want to be portable."
In that one statement, Mark both demonstrated his intelligence and his utter ignorance. The team was a group of coders attending a conference on cloud computing and artificial intelligence, and everyone at the table was well versed with how servers worked and what the latest technology was out there. Macy responded on Aida's behalf and informed Mark, "Today, the leading cloud computing company announced their release of their new server rack - several Pedabytes all secured in a backpack. Ai was probably thinking of just purchasing one and bringing it as an item." Clearly, Mark slacked off per usual and did not attend the conference at all.
Realizing that he made yet another mistake in the conversation, Mark snorted and left. Macy turned around to pat Aida, while Aida just shrugged, "It's no big deal, I've seen guys with even bigger egos. One day they'll realize that it's not about gender, it's about knowledge and ability."
With that, the apocalypse conversation ended, and the rest of the evening went on uneventfully and as everyone went back to their respective hotels.